Behaving Yourself Valiantly

A Lamplighter Moment from Mark Hamby

In 1 Chronicles 18:10-19 we find the story of Israel surrounded by their enemies the Ammonites.  Because of a perceived offense and because the new king of the Ammonites listened to his insecure advisors, he dishonored David’s team of men who were sent to bring him gifts in honor of his new position as king.  Realizing his error, rather than humbling himself, he chose to launch an offensive attack.  Isn’t that what we often do when we face conflict, especially between a husband and wife?  Our pride takes us down that destructive path until the end is worse than the beginning. Things escalate until there is no turning back.

Back to our story; knowing that Israel was too strong, the king of the Ammonites hired the Syrians to help him attack Israel.  Attacking from the front and rear, the Syrians and the Ammonites far outnumbered Israel.  But commander Joab, seeing his plight, rallied his troops by saying:  “Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in his sight.”

It is not about defending our honor; it is about behaving ourselves valiantly for our people, our family, for future generations, and for our God. Only then can we have the confidence that the LORD will do that which is good on our behalf. If you were to continue reading the rest of the chapter in 1 Chronicles 19, you would read: “And when the servants of the Syrians saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and became subject to him. So the Syrians were not willing to save the Ammonites any more.” Can you catch the practical implications for us today?  It is not until we behave ourselves valiantly for others, and defeat the enemy of pride or whatever enemy there is before us, that we can enjoy peace.  Not only will we be able to enjoy peace in relationships, but our enemies will become subject to us.  Can you picture whatever enemy there is that is plaguing you, becoming subject to you? The enemy of apathy, laziness, undisciplined life, anger, selfishness, pride, pornography, sex addictions, unforgiveness, worldliness, lying, manipulation, and __________; whatever enemy you are facing, it is going to take behaving yourself valiantly and trusting God for the victory.

Making ready a people prepared for the Lord,
Mark Hamby

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